Chris Johnson and 7 Players Whose Efforts Are an Insult to the NFL
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Underachievers are as much a part of football and the NFL as sacks, blitzes and touchdowns.
Almost halfway through the 2011 seasons, Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titan stands out as one of the least productive should-be-productive players in the league.
But he's far from alone. On both sides of the ball, there are players who aren't measuring up to expectations. Here are some of our—dare we say it?—favorites.
McNabb Could Be More Disappointing, but It's Hard to See How
Donovan McNabb, Vikings
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The good news is that Christian Ponder is proving able as a quarterback in Donovan McNabb's stead.
The bad news is that McNabb has been brutal, out of shape and out of sorts.
This was a guy the Vikings brought in because Minnesota needed a veteran leader at quarterback, someone who knew how to win and would help the Adrian Peterson-led Minnesota offense become a force.
Instead there is talk about his work ethic, and his physical conditioning has been called into question. But mostly there doesn't seem to be any explanation why he only had four touchdown throws in his first six games.
Johnson Getting Almost No Traction for Titans
Chris Johnson, Titans
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Was it really just two years ago that this guy was rushing for 2,000 years in a season?
Well, at this point, the best Chris Johnson can do for the Titans is 2.9 yards per carry, which is simply brutal for someone with as much talent as he has.
He does, after all, have a career average of 4.8 yards per carry, and you have to wonder how good the Titans might be if Tennessee was getting the kind of production they'd been hoping for from Johnson.
And fantasy owners of Johnson? Don't even ask.
Broncos' Captain Orton Keeps Coming Up Short
Kyle Orton, Broncos
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The Broncos had much higher expectations from Orton than the 4-14 record that led to him losing his job to Tim Tebow, a quarterback the Denver front office didn't seem to be at all sure could play in the NFL despite his high draft position of a couple of years ago.
The thing is, Orton is the Broncos' captain, but he hasn't been much of a leader if wins and losses and statistics have much to say about it.
He had 41 touchdowns the last two seasons, but he lost the starting job this year because he'd had almost as many interceptions (seven) as touchdowns (eight).
Ochocinco Simply Isn't Catching on
Chad Ochocinco, Patriots
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It's been six games now for Chad Ochocinco as a Patriot, and the flashy wide receiver has shown none of the flash he'd been known for.
The one-time Bengal star has just nine catches and still doesn't have a touchdown.
The questions now is whether or not Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will want to continue to look to him or will simply look for other options.
Edwards' Isn't the Rushing Machine He Once Was
Ray Edwards, Falcons
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Defensive end Ray Edwards was supposed to step into the Atlanta defense and make the Falcons pass rush a thing to be feared.
It hasn't happened. It took him more than a month for the one-time Minnesota Viking to get his first sack of the season, and he only has two sacks total coming into this week.
It's hard to say what's going on, but opposing offenses aren't having too much trouble shutting Edwards down.
Lions' Suh Isn't the Dominator He Was as a Rookie
Ndamukong Suh, Lions
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Sure, the Lions are turning it around and, sure, Suh has been part of the turnaround.
But he's not the player he was as a rookie, when Detroit saw him get 10 sacks and 66 tackles in revitalizing the Lions' defense.
He comes into this week with a seven-game totals of three sacks and 23 tackles, numbers that aren't bad, but numbers that don't come close to matching the expectations raised by his rookie year.
Flacco's Inconsistency Continues to Trouble Ravens
Joe Flacco, Ravens
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Baltimore's Joe Flacco did nothing but get better for three seasons.
This is the fourth season, and getting better doesn't seem to be part of the equation.
The Ravens' quarterback had completed barely half of his 211 passes (52.1 percent), and his quarterback rating has fallen from last year's 93.6 to 76.2.
It's not too late for him to turn it around, but the Ravens' 4-2 record has less to do with Flacco than you might suspect.
Rams' Bradford Looks Nothing Like He Did as a Rookie
Sam Bradford, Rams
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Maybe it's unfair to include an injured player on this list, but St. Louis' Sam Bradford's numbers were way, way down long before his gimpy ankle forced him to miss two starts.
After throwing for 3,512 yards and 18 touchdowns as a rookie in 2010, Bradford had been curiously missing from the Rams' offense in his first five games with just three touchdowns and a 53.1 completion percentage, numbers that some credited to a lingering finger injury.
Not what you'd expect from the NFL's best offensive rookie a year ago, when he completed 60 percent of his passes.